Depending on the style, dancing can have a major neurological load on the brain. Quite simply, this means you need to think a lot about your steps and body position, which elicits a high amount of brain activity. Dancing can also be a great cardiovascular workout, especially if it is done at a fast tempo. Swing dancing with a partner would be a good example of a high neurological load plus calorie burn, so you get the best of both worlds.
When it comes to your home treadmill, you are a bit more limited. You only have about 20″ x 60″ of deck to work with. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and dance off some calories. You just need to be resourceful and creative.
Tips for Set-up
It’s not conceivable to think you can get your groove on with the track going 10-plus mph beneath your feet. You’re more likely to fly off the back and suffer a traumatic accident. Here are some pointers to take into consideration:
- Keep the speed low, so you can make crisp and calculated moves.
- Keep the incline elevated slightly to promote more caloric expenditure. A grade of 2% or 3% is sufficient.
- Practice some basic moves before getting more involved. Do some turns, side steps, shuffles, and backwards motion. Use the handrails for support if need be.
Here’s where your creativity comes into play. While listening to a moderately paced tune, practice incorporating some dance moves into your gait pattern. Feel free to get your upper body involved too. Sway your shoulders side to side and back and forth, swing your arms in conjunction with your shoulders and even snap your fingers. Any additional movement will increase your calorie expenditure. If you are in need of some inspiration, check out some of these videos we found:
Interval Dance Moves
Intervals involve bouts of low and high intensity alternated back and forth for the duration of a workout. You have the option to turn your dance workout into an interval workout. In this case, you will in fact need to make adjustments with the speed and incline.
- Start with a light warm-up jog with the deck flat.
- Increase the incline slightly, and turn the speed up until you are sprinting.
- Sprint for 30 seconds then turn the speed down to a walking pace.
- Dance for 60 seconds then end up facing forward and increase the speed.
- Sprint for 30 seconds.
- Repeat the cycle for 20 to 30 minutes, and finish with a light jog for 5 minutes to cool down.
Dancing on your treadmill is actually not as crazy as it may sound. With daily practice, you can shake the boredom away, and keep your workouts interesting. But always remember to think safety first. There’s nothing fun or funny about getting whipped off the deck and landing flat on your face.